« PreviousContinue »
consist of a clear mellow whistle, repeated at short intervals as he gleams among the branches. There is in it a certain wild plaintiveness and naïveté extremely interesting. Since the streets of some of the American towns have been planted with Lombardy poplars, the orioles are constant visitors, chanting their native 'woodnotes wild,' amid the din of coaches, wheelbarrows, and sometimes within a few yards of a bawling oysterwoman.”
A curious phenomenon is represented by Mr. Murray as taking place with this poplar. Speaking of the raining tree in the Island of Hierro, which supplies the inhabitants as well as inferior animals with water, he accounts for This effect, by stating that a cloud of vapour from the sea is impelled towards the tree; and, being condensed by its foliage, the rain falls into a large tank, from which it is measured out by individuals set apart for that purpose by the authorities of the island. The same effect, Mr. Murray alleges, takes place
with very tall trees of this species surrounded by fog in this country. “In confirmation of a circumstance primâ facie so incredible,” he says, " I have here to record a phenomenon, witnessed by anyself, equally extraordinary. I had frequently observed, in avenues of trees, that the entire ground engrossed by their shady foliage was completely saturated with moisture; and that during the prevalence of a fog, when the ground beneath their pale was completely parched, the wet which fell from their branches more resembled a gentle shower than any thing else; and in investigating the phenomenon, which I am disposed to consider entirely electrical, I think the elm exhibits this feature more remarkably than any other tree of the forest. I never, however, was more astonished than I was in the month of September, 1828, on witnessing a very striking example of this description. I had taken an early walk on the road leading from Stafford to Lichfield ; a dense fog prevailed, but the road
was dry and dusty, while it was quite otherwise with the line of a few Lombardy poplars; for from them it rained so plentifully, and so fast, that any one of them might have been used as an admirable shower-bath, and the constant stream of water supplied by the aggregate would (properly directed) have sufficed to turn an ordinary mill.” (Mag. Nat. Hist.,
vol. iv. p. 34.). In British nurseries, hedges for shelter are frequently formed of the Lombardy poplar; in which case they are cut over at a certain height, and regularly cut in on each side, so as to form a verdant wall, 8 ft. or 10 ft. high, 18 in. wide at bottom, and 6 in. wide at top. It is an excellent tree for sheltering or shading either fields or gardens in a flat country; but care must be taken to plant it at a sufficient distance; and, where shelter is wanted without shade, not to introduce it on the south side of any garden or orchard, unless at a distance of at least twice its ordinary height.
The Lombardy poplar, when Gilpin wrote his Forest Scenery, which was previously to 1780, had been only seen by that agreeable writer as a young tree. Within these few years,” he says, "the Lombardy poplar, which graces the banks of the Po, has been much introduced in English plantations. It seems to like a British soil, and its youth is promising ; but I have never seen it in full maturity. Its conic form, as a deciduous tree, is peculiar. Among evergreens, we find the same character in the cypress; and both trees, in many situations, have a good effect. The cypress, often, among the ruins of ancient Rome, breaks the regularity of a wall or a pediment, by its conic form : and the poplar on the banks of the Po, no doubt, has the same effect among its deciduous brethren, by forming the apex of a clump; though I have been told that, in its age, it loses its shape, and spreads more into a head. The oldest poplars of this kind I have seen are at Blenheim. They are not old trees, but are very tall, and, I believe, still preserve their spiry form. One beauty the Italian poplar possesses, which is alınost peculiar in itself; and that is the waving line it forms when agitated by the wind. Most trees, in this circumstance, are partially agitated : one side is in rest, while the other is in motion. But the Italian poplar waves in one simple sweep from the top to the bottom, like an ostrich feather on a lady's head. All the branches coincide in the motion : but, in painting, I know not that I should represent any kind of motion in a tree, except that of a violent storm. When the blast continues for some time, when the black heavens are in unison with it, and help to tell the story, an oak straining in the wind is an object of picturesque beauty; but when the gentle breeze, pressing upon the quivering poplar, bends it only in easy motion, while a serene sky indicates the heavens to be at peace, there is nothing to act in concert with the motion of the tree: it seems to have taken its form from the influence of a sea air, or some other malign impression; and, exhibiting an unnatural appearance, disgusts. One thing more I should mention with regard to the Italian poplar ; which is, that, although it sometimes has a good effect when standing singly, it generally has a better when two or three are planted in a clump." (Forest Scenery, vol.i. p.58.)
The Lombardy poplar, Sir Thomas Dick Lauder observes, though extremely fatiguing to the eye when it lines the road for many miles, as it does very
generally in France, and occasionally in Italy, is often a very beautiful and natural accompaniment to buildings. “ We have observed,” he says,“ a very whimsical effect produced by the long rows of these poplars in France, when seen crowning a distant elevation, where they have had to us all the appearance of an army drawn up; and we remarked that this whimsical deception very frequently occurred." (Lauder's Gilpin, vol. i. p. 116.) Mr. Sang considers the Lombardy poplar as a very ugly tree;" a circumstance which we are rather surprised at in so enlightened an observer. The prevalence of these poplars in the vicinity of London, and other places in England, he says, he found tiresome in the extreme. Cobbett asserts the poplars to be a very worthless family of trees;” and he adds,“ That well-known, great, strong, ugly thing, called the Lombardy poplar, is very apt to furnish its neighbours with a surplus population of caterpillars, and other abominable insects." (Woodlands.)
Poetical and legendary Allusions. Some authors make Lombardy poplars the trees into which the sisters of Phaethon were changed. The unhappy virgins, say they, in their despair, clasped their hands above their heads, till they became fixed, and with the long hair which hung down and covered them like a veil, changed into leaves and branches, from which their tears stream incessantly. Notwithstanding the poetry of this idea, the Lombardy poplar could not be the tree alluded to by Ovid ; since it has certainly been either originated in, or introduced into, Italy at a comparatively modern period, and consequently was not known to the ancients. The spiral form of this poplar, and the manner in which it waves in one mass, have been noticed by several of our modern poets. Leigh Hunt speaks of
-“ The poplar's shoot,
Which, like a feather, waves from head to foot;" and Barry Cornwall says,
-“ The poplar there Shoots up its spire, and shakes its leaves i’the sun
The Isle of Poplars, in the Marquis de Girardin's gardens at Ermenonville, is celebrated for having been the place chosen by Rousseau for his own grave. The island is about 50 ft. long, and 30 ft. broad, and is situated at one end of a large lake. The only trees planted on the island are Lombardy poplars. A plan of the island may be seen in the Encyclopædia of Gardening, ed. 1835, p. 86.; and a view of the island and the tomb forms the frontispiece to Girardin's Essay on Landscape, &c.
Soil, Situation, &c. The Lombardy poplar will only thrive on a tolerably good soil, and will not attain a large size, except in a situation where to a good soil is joined proximity to water. In the climate of London, it grows with such rapidity, that care is required, when it is introduced in ornamental plantations, to thin it out, or cut it down, so that its form may not preponderate in the landscape. In the north of England, and in most parts of Scotland, it does not thrive.
Statistics. Recorded Trees. Dr. Walker mentions a tree on the borders of a canal, near Brussels, which, in 15 years, attained the height of 80 ft., with a trunk from 7ft. to 8 ft. in circumference. Another tree, at Nisbet, in Berwickshire, had, in 1795, attained the height of 60 ft. in 26 years; with a trunk 6 ft. í in, in circumference at 4 ft. from the ground. The largest tree that Sir Thomas Dick Lauder knows of in Scotland stands on the lawn, a little below the Castle of Tarnawa, in Morayshire. Phillips says the most extraordinary Lombardy poplars which he had seen were on the banks of the Seine, near Rouen. They had not been planted more than 20 years; “yet their height is such, as to make it quite awful to walk in the avenues.” (Syl. Flor., vol. ii. p. 133.). We wrote to our friend, the Abbé Gosier of Rouen, for some account of these trees; and his answer, dated March 4th, 1837, states, on the authority of M. Dubreuil, Conservator des Promenades publiques, &c., that they grow in alluvial soil, and are 150 ft. high. A tree, planted in 1758, in the St. Peter's Nursery, Canterbury, was blown down, Mr. Masters informs us, during the hurricane of Nov. 29. 1836. The trunk was upwards of 5 ft. in diameter at 1 ft. from the ground, and at 6 ft. it was 4 ft. 4 in. in diameter. It was nearly 100 ft. in height, very symmetrically formed, and from the northern and western entrances to Canterbury was an object of considerable attraction. The wood of the trunk was in a complete state of decay, and had produced an abundance
of Polyporus igniàrius for several years past. Existing Trees In England, in the environs of London, at Ham House, Essex, it is 110 ft. high, with a trunk 3 ft. 10 in. in diameter ; at Gunnersbury Park, 45 years planted, it is 84 ft. high, diameter of the trunk 24 f.; at Whitton, it is 115ft. high. In Somersetshire, at Nettlecombe, 18 years old, it is 62 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 14 it., and of the head 71 ft. ; in Surrey, at Walton upon Thames, 52 years planted, it is 110 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 4 ft. 8 in. : in Cambridgeshire, in the parish of Gamlingay, it is 90 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 10 in. ; in the Cambridge Botanic Garden, it is 100 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 5 ft., and of the head 30 ft : in Denbighshire, at Llanbede Hall, 50 years planted, it is 73 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk ft., and of the head 12 ft. ; in Durham, at Southend, 18 years planted, it is 45 ft. high; in Gloucestershire, at Doddington, it is 95 ft. high, diameter of the trunk 3ft.; in Lancashire, at Latham House, 40 years planted, it is 80 it, high, the diameter of the trunk 2 it., and of the head 14 ft. ; in Leicestershire, at Donnington Park, 60 years planted, it is 88 ft. high : in Oxfordshire, in the Oxford Botanic Garden, it is 80 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 3f ft., and of the head 18 ft. ; in the village of Great Tew are some trees which are 125 ft. high, planted about 50 years ago, by a labourer who still lives near them : in Pembrokeshire, at Stackpole Court, 35 years old, it is 80 mt. high, the diameter of the trunk 3 ft., and that of the head 12 ft. ; in Radnorshire, at Belvoir Castle, 18 years old, it is 50 nt high; in Staffordshire, at Rolleston Hall, it is 88 ft. high, with a trunk 24 ft. in diameter ; in Suffolk, at Finborough Hall, 80 years planted, it is 90 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2ft., and of the head 80 ft.: in Warwickshire, at Coombe Abbey, 70 years planted, it is 85 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 3 ft., and of the head 12 ft. : in Worcestershire, at Hagley, 9 years planted, it is 19 ft. high ; at Croome, so years planted, is 70 ft. high: in Yorkshire, at Grimston, 14 years planted, it is to it. high ; at Knedlington, 11 years planted, it is 34 ft. high. In Scotland, in Lanarkshire, in the Glasgow Botanic Garden, 16 years planted, it is 65 ft. high; in Renfrewshire, at North Barr, 30 years planted, it is 70 ft. high'; in Clackmannanshire, in the garden of the Dollar Institution, 12 years planted, it is 26 ft; in Inverness-shire, at Cowan, 45 years planted, it is 75 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 1 ft., and of the head 12 ft. ; in Perthshire, at Taymouth, it is 100 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 1 ft. 2 in., and of the head 12ft. ; in Ross-shire, at Brahan Castle, it is 70 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. In Ireland, in Galway, at Coole, it is 30 ft. high, with a trunk 9 in. in diameter. In the Isle of Jersey, in Saunders's Nursery, 10 years planted, it is $6 ft. high,
the diameter of the trunk 1 ft., and of the head 19 ft. In France, at Ermenonville, in the Isle of Poplars, are several 80 ft. high. In Belgium, at Ghent, in the Botanic Garden, 80 ft. high. In Saxony, at Wörlitz, 60 years old, it is 60 ft. high, with a trunk 14 ft. in diameter. In Bavaria, at Munich, in the English Garden, 25 years old, it is 45 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 12 in., and of the head 10 ft. In Prussia, at Berlin, in the Botanic Garden, 60 years old, it is 60 ft. high, with a trunk 2nt. in diameter. In Italy, in Lombardy, at Monza, 40 years old, it is 90 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft., and of the head 10 ft.; at Belgiosa, near Pavia, 80 years planted, it is 70 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 7 in.
Commercial Statistics. Plants, from 5 ft. to 6 ft. in height, are 8s. per hundred in the London nurseries; at Bollwyller, from 50 to 60 cents each.
1 12. P. ANGULA'TA Ait. The angled-branched, or Carolina, Poplar. Identification. Ait. Hort. Kew., ed. 1., 3. p. 407., ed. 2., 5. p. 396. ; Michx. Arb., 3. ; North Amer.
Sylva, 2. p. 224. ; Pursh Fl. Amer. Sept., 2. p. 619.; Lodd. Cat., ed. 1836.
Synonymes. P. anguldsa Michu. Fl. Bor. Amer., 2. p. 243. ; P. heterophylla Du Roi Harbk., 2.
P. 150., Mænch Weissenst., 80., Wangenk. Amer., 85.; P. macrophylla Lodd. Cat., edit. 1836; P. balsamifera Mill. Dict., No. 5.; Mississippi Cotton Tree, Amer. The Sexes. A plant at Ampton Hal, Suffolk, and one in the London Horticultural Society's arboretum, are both of the male sex. Michaux the elder has briefly described the flowers of both sexes, in his Fl. Bot. Amer., but, as Michaux the son states, in his North Amer. Sylva, that his father had confounded P. angulata and P. canadensis together in his Flora, we cannot be sure that the part descriptive of the dowers under P. angulata relates to this. It is given below, in the supposition that it may. Engravings. Michx. Arb., 3. t. 12.; North Amer. Sylva, 2. t. 94.; Du Ham. Arb., 2. t. 39. f. 9. ; Catesb. Carol., 1. t. 99. ; our fig. 1533. ; and the plates of this tree in our last Volume.
Spec. Char., fc. Bud not resinous, green. Shoot angled, with wings. Disk of leaf ovate, deltoid, acuminate, toothed with blunt teeth that have the point incurved, glabrous : upon the more vigorous shoots, the disk is heart-shaped, and very large. (Pursh, and Michæ. jun.) The elder Michaux's description of the flowers under P. angulàta is as follows :-“ Male flowers polyandrous; female flowers rather distantly placed upon the rachis, glabrous; the ovary subglobose.” This description is liable to the exception above noted. In Martyn's Miller, the male catkins are said to be like those of P. nigra, and the anthers purple. P. angulàta, in North America, is, according to Pursh, a tree about 80 ft. high; its branches are very brittle, and its leaves are very large. It is wild in morasses on the banks of rivers between Virginia and Florida, and on the Mississippi. Introduced into England in 1738, and flowering in March. Varieties. 1 P. a. 2 nova Audibert. - The plant of this variety in the London Hor
ticultural Society's Garden being only 2 ft. high, we are unable to
state in what respect it differs from the species. 1 P. a. 3 Medusæ Booth. – A plant in Messrs. Loddiges's collection,
received under this name, in 1836, from Messrs. Booth of Hamburg,
is not yet quite 1 ft. in height. Description, fc. The shoots of this species, when young, are extremely succulent; and, as they continue growing late in the summer, they are frequently killed down several inches by the autumnal frosts. After the tree has attained the height of 20 ft. or 30 ft., which, in the climate of London, it does in five or six years, this is no longer the case; because the shoots produced are shorter and less suc
1533 culent, and, of course, better ripened. According to Michaux, the leaves, when they first unfold, are smooth and brilliant, 7 in. to 8 in. long on young plants, and as much in breadth ; while on trees 30 ft. or 40 ft. high they are only one fourth the size. The petiole, compressed in the upper part, renders the leaves easily agitated by the wind. “ The annual shoots on young trees are very thick, distinctly striated, and of a green colour spotted with white; on branches of the second, third, and even of the seventh or eighth, years, the traces of the furrows are still observable: they are indicated by prominent red lines in the bark, terminating at the insertion of the young shoots, which ultimately disappear with the growth of the branches. This character belongs also to the cotton-wood (P. canadensis); but, besides the difference of their general appearance, the two species are distinguished by their buds : those of the Carolina poplar (P. angulàta) are short, of a deep green, and destitute of the resinous substance which covers those of the cotton-wood (P. canadensis), and of which the vestiges remain till late in the
The wood of P. angulàta is white, soft, and considered of little use in North America. As an ornamental tree, it forms a very stately object; but, from the brittleness of the branches, they are very liable to be torn off by high winds. In the climate of Paris, the points of the shoots of the ter